Tom Price is right. This long-time consultant to Enemy Central reported his morning that we face an embarrassment of riches. Selecting from among such contenders as Justice O'Connor, Dean, Krugman, Dowd, Patrick Kennedy and Gephardt, he reports, "is "going to be a challenge."
That's old thinking. Under the new, and our brand-new constitutional right to receive or mete out abuse as we see fit, we are free to enter into any arrangement with the above culprits as we see fit. We can take the example of mad Dr. Howie Dean, who went to the web to receive much needed electronic treatment, absorbing 44% of all jolts in a Democratic power grid test. Dean's madness is contagious. Since his latest crackup last Sunday on "Meet the Press," his stature has shot up, so much so that it's now conventional wisdom that he's the Democrat to watch for 2004.
We've all heard of his inability to describe the number of Americans currently in uniform or his cheapo claim that like "President Reagan, President Clinton, and President Bush, I do not have extensive experience in national security." He was eloquent in countless other ways last Sunday:
• About his 17 year old son, who busted for booze and got busted as a result ("a little scrap," Dad called it), and in any case wasn't planning to attend Dean's official coming out: "... my son is very guarded about his privacy and so forth."
• About a killer he was willing to make a death penalty exception for: "And so the guy basically got time served, and he was the man who murdered a 15-year-old girl and raped her and then left her for dead and she was dead." (Later it emerged that Dean knew full well that the father of a 12-year-old pregnant girl he treated was not the man who impregnated her -- though in a famous appearance before NARAL he suggested he was.)
• About his appreciation of the cultural benefits of diversity in a learning environment, long before Sandra Day O'Connor caught on: "I went to my physical in Ft. Hamilton in Brooklyn, which was a great deal like the scene out of Alice's Restaurant in terms of the different sizes, shapes, colors, and all kinds of people were there. I was given an examination."
• About his failing that test, the advantages of diversity notwithstanding: "I had a previous back problem" -- an unfused vertebra -- "which is evidently congenital." Consequently, he received a medical deferment which kept him free from military service during Vietnam and available for an extended skiing tour in Aspen, Colorado. Yet despite this long history of a bad back, he's been courageous enough to insist that not he but his Democratic rivals are the ones who "need a backbone transplant."
As we were saying, Dean's the best they've got. Why not the aforenominated Dick Gephardt? Duh, because he's not pathological enough. His only sin last week was his promise to disregard any Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action that he disagreed with and use executive orders to override them. Some saw this as worse than Nixonian. But our analysis suggests Gephardt was merely ahead of his time. In its current mood, the high court is bound to declare executive orders on behalf of diversity the ultimate law of the land, so long as they are issued in the privacy of the Oval Office at some point within the next 25 years.
As for Paul Krugman, forget about it. Cruel and unusual punishment may be constitutionally in fashion, but better to take one's lumps or distribute them elsewhere. For instance, in the company of Maureen Dowd, holder of the Simon Legree chair at the New York Times. She continues to stalk Justice Clarence Thomas in the crudest way, reminding many a social observer of the trashy white girl in To Kill a Mockingbird who made the wildest charges against Tom Robinson. If the Supreme Court still allows an old-fashioned form of deviant behavior, you might want to keep Ms. Dowd in your prayers.
And don't forget to thank your lucky stars for Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the first good ol' boy the Kennedy Klan has produced since Peter Lawford. Of course, when he claimed never to have worked a bleeping day in his life, he was being modest. We can see he remains in the bottle-distribution business, and what about the time he found work as a baggage handler at LAX?
Then there was one, Sandra Day Dreaming O'Connor. Everyone knows what she's done. Everyone knows she guilty, now more than ever. So in a case this clear cut, there can only be a sociological explanation. We have found it. Years ago at a D.C. bash she expressed disdain at the Patrick Kennedy-like behavior of one of the diners at her table. By then he might have been crawling under it, or on top of it for that matter. In any case, he famously said, "C'mon, loosen up, Sandy baby." It took her about 25 years to do so, but do so she did, acting on the advice of hard-partying former Redskin running back John Riggins. He's our EOW for creating a monster a lot scarier than anyone hooked on steroids, not that steroids don't do a terrific job in creating bodily diversity in professional sports.
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